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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Tap water?

Ok. I've searched the internet for the last hour and I still have not found the answers to my questions. My tap water straight out of the tap reads like this: Nitrate-20, Nitrite-0, GH-75, KH-between 40-50, PH-6.8. Is the nitrate reading of 20 going to give me problems in my new planted tank? The tank is a 180g , to be planted with large swords. About 15% of the water would be changed every other day because the tank will house discus. Will the large swords use up the nitrate, or would it be too much for them to use since the water will be replaced so often? Since so much water will be changed so often, I hoped to be able to use it straight from the tap, temp. adjusted of course. Water is from my private well. Should I try to remove the nitrates, or is it even a problem? Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 03:18 AM
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lighting is key

You will need to be sure the lighting and fertilization is good so the plants can take in the nitrate. 20 ppm is a bit high, but if you plant the tank first and get the plants running well, the plants will suck that down to zero and then you can add back the new water and adjust the total nitrates that way. That is, do a 50% water change with the tank at 0 ppm and add 50% with 20 ppm and you have 10 ppm overall, perfect! With good lighting and correct phosphates and traces that 10 ppm will need a boost in just a few days.

I am not certain that you can do this with only 15% changed every other day, I think you will need to severely limit the number of discus you keep with a water change schedule like that. Now, the rule of thumb is 1 discus per 10 to 15 gallons, but if you are not going to change water a lot, then you need to back off that number. So, rather than keeping something like 10 or 12 discus, if you keep 6 or 8, then you can handle the lower water changes, but I'd still suggest you shoot for 30% 3x/week.

You will also need to keep a close eye on the pH and KH, for KH 45ppm is ~2 degrees of hardness which puts you in danger of a pH crash due to normal metobolic processes in the tank (fish respiration and bacterial processes) You can use crushed coral (slow acting) or baking soda (fast acting) to add KH, you'll just need to monitor this a lot, though the discus can take it quite acidic they won't like sudden changes, I'm not sure about the plants. The plants need the calcium as much as the fish do, and other minerals as well, you can look at the additives sold for reconstituting RO water or figure out the parts you need individually for less $.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have 6 discus that are about 6" at a buddy's house I planned on putting in this tank, which is 180gal.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 04:38 AM
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6 adults will do just fine. NO3 by itself is no big deal, just means you don't need to dose any. NO3 is usually a convenient way to gauge water quality, if it is produced by fish poop. The real bad thing is the organic contents in the waste. With moderate feeding for adults, you maybe able to get away with 15% every other day. Keep an eye on NO3, I would not let it go beyond 30ppm(that is, 10ppm on top of tap water). Otherwise, do more water changes. Good luck.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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To be safe, seems I should do more water changes. Thanks!
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